Issue 41 | June 2016
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multi generational family sitting on couch
Keeping Cool:
Tips for Summertime Coparenting
A Note from the Director
For many families, June begins the summer fun season! School’s out, summer camps are in, and family vacations are on everyone’s mind! Unfortunately, along with all of this fun, comes some stress, especially for blended families working through shared parental responsibilities and navigating all of these activities across the schedules of two or more households. Positive, open communication can help minimize stress and maintain healthy relationships across blended families and model healthy communication skills for children. We hope the tips and resources offered in this month’s newsletter will be helpful to you and the families you serve in keeping cool when family tensions heat up!

Best regards,

Robyn Cenizal, CFLE
Project Director
Tip of the Month
The Resource Center’s Virtual Training Center contains a newly refreshed course on Communication. It's one of four courses in the Core Healthy Marriage and Relationship Skills series, which uses an "inside-out” approach: First, the course helps you to better understand healthy communication at a personal level; then it equips you to educate the families you serve. Being an engaged and respectful listener is just as integral to positive and healthy communication as is choosing your words carefully. Whether parents are in a romantic relationship or not, how you listen is a key component of healthy communication and often conveyed through non-verbal cues.
Here are a few ways, taken from our course, that non-verbal cues can be used to support healthy communication that builds positive coparenting relationships:
Gestures are movements of the body, hands, arms, head, shoulders, etc., that help to explain or describe a point. Often we make gestures without realizing it. If excessive, gestures distract from the message. Tilting your head forward signifies interest and concentration.
Posture is how you hold your body while walking, sitting, or standing. Slumping forward in a chair can indicate to the speaker that you are bored.
Facial expressions are created by the way you hold your facial muscles. Facial expressions can tell others what you think and feel. Make sure your facial expression matches the message. Smiling shows friendliness and understanding.
Eye contact is looking directly at another person, giving him or her your attention. It is very important to show interest in what the other person is saying by looking into his or her eyes. Be careful not to stare—staring can make the other person uncomfortable. Looking away can show disinterest or disrespect.
Featured Resources
The Resource Center's Virtual Library has collected approximately 1,200 materials in a variety of formats including fact sheets, research-to-practice briefs, brochures, pamphlets, training resources, program reports or evaluations, and research materials.
Select the links below to view our featured June resources:
    Encouraging Effective Coparenting in Blended Families (Brief)
This Resource Center brief reviews current research on the unique experiences of blended families and suggests practices to improve effective coparenting.

    Strong Families: Tips for Healthy and Effective Communication (Tip Sheet)
This tip sheet provides specific tips to improve communication skills. It is designed as an informational handout for families in support of the companion resource for providers, Tips for Service Providers: Healthy and Effective Communication

    Integrating Healthy Relationship Education in High School and College, February 25, 2016 (Webinar)
This webinar discussed the benefits of integrating healthy relationship education in high school and college. It featured presentations from leaders in research and field work with the goal of helping service providers understand the impacts of healthy relationship education for youth and young adults, and highlighted successfully integrated programs. The presentation also featured free Resource Center resources that provide general information and raises awareness about the importance of addressing healthy relationships at an early age. Watch the webinar on our Archived Webinars page or our YouTube channel.

    Building Strong Parenting Partnerships (Tip Sheet)
This Resource Center tip sheet reviews the concept of parenting styles, including two key elements of parenting: parental responsiveness (i.e., warmth or supportiveness) and parental demandingness (i.e., behavioral control).

The Resource Center's Events Calendar offers a listing of Resource Center events and other national, regional, and community-wide events that might be of interest. Upcoming events include:
    National Association for Relationship & Marriage Education (NARME) 6th Annual Leadership Summit in Anaheim, CA, July 16-21, 2016
Equipping those leading the way for healthy relationship development, family formation, and poverty prevention with the knowledge and strategies to be most effective in the workplace and community is the goal of the leadership summit. The theme for the 2016 NARME Conference is Be The Change. NARME believes we are all challenged to Be The Change in our communities. What better way to inspire, teach, and empower each of us, than to hear first-hand how we have the opportunity to make life-changing impact in participants' lives.

Will you be attending? If so, be sure to come visit our exhibit booth!

    National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) 79th Annual Conference in Monterey, CA, July 17-20, 2016
Join the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges in Monterey, California, for their 79th Annual Conference that features amazing presentations on current and cutting edge topics that will inspire, provoke, and precipitate discussions about issues facing the juvenile and family court system. Plenary sessions highlighted by topic specific training tracks on family law, juvenile justice, child welfare, and family violence as well as tracks featuring practical and innovative solutions are just the beginning of the educational offerings of the NCJFCJ's 79th Annual Conference. This conference is judicially-focused and open to all those interested in the improvement of juvenile and family justice.

Will you be attending? If so, be sure to come visit our exhibit booth!
Feedback and Technical Assistance
If you have suggestions or wish to speak with a Resource Center staff member, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you. If you would like to request technical assistance, please submit a Training and Technical Assistance Request Form and our Technical Assistance Coordinator will contact you.
To learn more about the Resource Center visit us at
The National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families supports safety-net service providers as they integrate healthy marriage and relationship education skills into service delivery systems as part of a comprehensive, culturally appropriate, family-centered approach designed to promote self-sufficiency.

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Funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant: 90FH0003. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.
National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families, 9300 Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22031
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